Luigi Russolo (born April 30, 1885 – died February 4, 1947) – Italian artist, musician, poet, art theorist of the XIX-XX centuries. Luigi Russolo’s work balanced on the border of pictorial and musical talents. The artist’s paintings reflect the mechanistic and metaphysical progress of the surrounding world.
Luigi Russolo is one of the founders of the futuristic direction in painting. His artistic and musical experiments have left a significant mark on the history of world art.
Luigi Russolo was born on April 30, 1885 in the Italian town of Portogruaro near Venice in the family of an organist. Luigi was the third child of his parents. Together with his older brothers, he seriously studied music and independently studied drawing. In 1901, the family moved to Milan, where the brothers entered the conservatory, and Luigi – at the Brera Academy of Arts.
As a poet, Luigi Russolo collaborated with the Poetry magazine, met the artist Umberto Boccioni and the writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who influenced the young Russolo. In his work, phantasmagoric images of a night city with grotesque figures, light drops, rapidly moving forms have been outlined.
A year later, an art group of young Italian artists was formed around Filippo Marinetti, which included Luigi Russolo. Fascinated by the dynamics and geometry of objects, the painter introduced deep philosophical implications into his subjects. In 1912, the first futuristic exhibition opened in Paris, the exhibits of which were later shown in many European countries. But the revolutionary ideas of futurism did not find a significant response there.
Since 1913, Luigi Russolo has devoted himself to musical exploration.
He published the manifesto “The Art of Noise”, invented several noise instruments and composed a number of musical compositions for them. While participating in the First World War, he received a serious wound in the head, and was on recovery for a long time. In 1927, due to the growth of fascist ideology in Italy, Russolo moved to the capital of France, where he lived until 1939. There he again returned to fine art. In 1929-1930, his works were exhibited in Parisian art galleries.
In 1931, Luigi Russolo ended his musicological career, left the visual arts and took up philosophy. Most of all he was attracted by Theosophy and occult practice. The genius returned to painting only in 1941, preferring the depiction of nature in a figurative style.
The artist passed away on February 4, 1947 in Cerro di Laveno.
The most famous paintings by Luigi Russolo
Luigi Russolo’s paintings convey the multicolored and polyphonic phenomena of nature and human life. Typical for them is the image of the industry in the form of a living organism:
- Lamps or Lightning (1910) is an image of the working-class outskirts of the city with its factories and factories, which dominates the futuristic painting of the early period.
- “Perfume – Smell, Aroma” (1910) – the atmosphere of smells, created by light strokes and occupying a central place. The female profile gradually dissipates its outlines and stratifies in the surrounding space.
- The Dynamism of a Running Night Train (1911) is an iconic futuristic depiction of transport and the dynamics of its driving force.
- Uprising (1911) is a synthesis of three futuristic themes: crowd, movement and the city with its bulky houses. A powerful mass of fleeing people is approaching the city. Sharp-angled geometry and rich color contrasts create the feeling of a rotating kaleidoscope.
- “House + Light + Sky” (1913) is an abstract work that reveals the interaction of natural elements and the creations of human hands. The sun’s rays and artificial lantern light intersect and draw the viewer into the landscape.
Luigi Russolo’s paintings are presented in museums around the world and in the collections of private collectors. His works attract the attention of viewers with rebellious courage, an attempt to expand the possibilities of perceiving the world around him.